Eighth Grade is a 2018 independent dramatic comedy written and directed by Bo Burnham about Kayla Day, an eighth grade vlogger with social anxiety, during her last week of middle school. We watch Kayla wake up and get ready for school, following a makeup tutorial on Youtube, before posting a selfie on Snapchat. Kayla arrives at school, and we see a boy huffing a highlighter, a girl snapping a rubber band on her braces, and another boy building a tower of markers, while Kayla draws cute figures in her notebook. In art class, Kayla makes a cute pig out of clay. Finally, we see Kayla watching a sex ed video, while a boy in her class masturbates.
Where is Kayla and what is she doing in the opening scene of Eighth Grade? How does Kayla’s environment give us clues about who she is and what she values?
What media and technology do we see Kayla using in this clip?
In what ways is Kayla’s femininity featured in this clip? Does the film stereotype young teens in this clip? If so, how?
Does this clip resonate with your own experiences of middle school? Why? Why not?